Red Velvet Cupcakes Recipe Made From Scratch

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There’s nothing better than my red velvet cupcakes recipe made from scratch with cream cheese frosting. Every bite is moist, tender, and deliciously sweet.

red velvet cupcakes

This wonderful cake is usually made around the holidays but since it’s gone mainstream I’ve seen red velvet cakes everywhere all year long. From those fancy-schmancy cupcake joints with the four-inch high icing to frozen yogurt flavors and it’s even showing up in snack cakes! Still, I usually only make it around Christmastime at home out of well…habit, tradition…and a little bit of “well it never occurred to me to make it any other time of year!”

Now let me tell you something, I LOVE cake mixes and use them often. They are a lot of fun and a whole lot more convenient. HOWEVER, this from scratch red velvet cupcake recipe is above and beyond anything a cake mix could possibly produce so make time for a few extra minutes of work because I promise it will be well worth it! The combination of buttermilk and oil makes these red velvet cupcakes so unbelievably soft and moist. 

Let’s get cookin’ some red velvet cupcakes!

Ingredients for red velvet cupcakes.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Baking soda
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Eggs
  • Red food coloring (you can also use beet powder for this as well)
  • All-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil
  • Buttermilk
  • Vinegar
  • Cocoa powder
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cupcake papers

Place flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda in a mixing bowl.

Place your flour in a medium bowl. Add the salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder. Mix that up!

In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar, buttermilk, apple cider vinegar, and eggs.

In a separate bowl, pour in the buttermilk, then add in the oil, sugar, vinegar, and eggs.

Stir that up really well.

Cake batter.

Until it is kinda like this.

Combine wet and dry ingredients in mixing bowl.

Now dump the wet ingredients into a large bowl and then dump your flour mixture on top of them.

Mix with an electric mixer and then add the red food coloring.

Mix with an electric mixer until smooth and blended (about two minutes).

Add the red food coloring (0r beet powder) and vanilla extract.

Red velvet cake batter mixed together.

Mix that up really well with the electric mixer again until it is deep red and fully blended.

Pour the cupcake batter into the cupcake papers in a muffin tin. Fill each cupcake liner about 3/4 full.

This red velvet cupcakes recipe will make about 18 cupcakes or so.

Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes, or until cupcakes spring back when lightly pressed with a finger in the center.

Piping cream cheese frosting onto your red velvet cupcakes.

Allow them to cool before adding the cream cheese frosting.

Making the cream cheese frosting.

The recipe and instructions for the cream cheese frosting are below in the recipe card, and it’s really easy.

You just dump everything in a bowl and beat the mess out of it until it’s smooth and creamy :). If you want to see how I make cream cheese icing, you can visit my chocolate velvet cake post for photos.

Red velvet cupcake cut in half with cream cheese frosting.

Don’t feel like you have to put the icing on pretty as I did here. Although all I did was use a piping bag, I promise.

Anyway, just slather the icing on each frosted cupcake with a knife and just don’t worry about it. ENJOY!


Store the red velvet frosted cupcakes in an airtight container for up to 3 days. You can leave them at room temperature but if it’s warm where you live, pop them in the fridge so the frosting doesn’t melt. Alternatively, freeze unfrosted cupcakes for up to 3 months and thaw overnight before adding frosting.

Recipe Notes

  • You can use this recipe to make mini red velvet cupcakes if you prefer. All you need is mini cupcake liners in a mini cupcake pan. Bake for 12 to 13 minutes.
  • Use this homemade recipe to make a red velvet cake instead. Pour the cake batter into a cake tin and bake for around 30 minutes instead.
  • If you need to make your own buttermilk, add a tablespoon of distilled white vinegar to 1 cup of milk and let it stand for 10 minutes.

Check out my other red velvet recipe ideas:

Red Velvet Cookies From Cake Mix

Mini Red Velvet Cakes

Red Velvet Bundt Cake Recipe

Red Velvet Hot Chocolate

red velvet cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes

There's nothing better than red velvet cupcakes made from scratch with cream cheese frosting. Every bite is soft, tender, and deliciously sweet.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cupcake, red velvet
Servings: 18 cupcakes
Calories: 277kcal


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 bottle red food coloring you can use beet root powder as well

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 1 package cream cheese 8 ounces, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, at room temperature
  • 1 pound confectioner's sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
    2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt
  • In a separate large bowl, mix together the sugar, buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vinegar. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat on medium speed until well blended.
    1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, 1 cup buttermilk, 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • Add the vanilla and the entire bottle of red food coloring to the cake batter and mix again on low speed until well blended and uniform in color.
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 bottle red food coloring
  • Line 2 12-cup muffin tins with papers. Fill each cupcake liner about 3/4 full with the cake batter. You will end up with 18-20 cupcakes.
  • Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until the center springs back when pressed lightly with your finger. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before icing.

For Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Cream together the cream cheese and butter. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy, scraping down sides as needed. Ice the cooled cupcakes.
    1 package cream cheese, 1 pound confectioner's sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 cup butter
  • Can be left at room temperature but I prefer them refrigerated!


Calories: 277kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!


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